I am putting out a writer's challenge! Based on the image provided, have your students write a short story. I ask that you evaluate the writing pieces before they are submitted. I will post the winning story on its own page that will showcase exemplary writing. If you have any questions, please contact me via the "Contact Me" page. This image is available for download by clicking the on the link below.
Glogster is an online program that allows your students to create a multimedia scrap book presentation. The students are able to import sound, video, backgrounds, and pictures. It looks neat, but it seems to take a while to load. Maybe it is just the internet speed at my school, but the videos took a very long time. The glogs look interesting and are definitely more interactive than just a written report on a topic. I do think that this is something to be added to your bag of tools for classroom use. Your students will enjoy making their glog, and believe it or not, they will be learning more than you can imagine. Not only are the students learning the concepts that they are investigating, they are USING 21ST CENTURY SKILLS! By having your students create this electronic presentation, they are not only working on research, writing and organization, they are also learning how to incorporate media into a presentation beyond adding an annoying noise to a PowerPoint every time a page turns. Try it with your students; if it doesn't work for your students, at least you gave it a try. Not everything will work for all teachers or all students, but the import thing about the education process is that you are trying new things to see what is the most effective tool for your students. Good Luck and make sure to leave some feedback if try it or are currently using it with your students.
When doing projects with students that require music to be added, please encourage them to use royalty free music. It may seem like a little thing, but truly there are copyright laws that prohibit students from using copyright music in their own production without the written consent of the musician. The student could always pay a licensing fee that would allow them to use the song, but the cost for something like that can be $50+. Royalty free music is music that is free to be used by anyone without restriction. http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/ is a great website for students to use when thinking about music for a project. They can sample the music and then download it. I like this website because it has a large variety of music to choose from and each musical piece has a description of the music. Check it out.